Nigeria: Widespread Islamic Attacks On Christians

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January 2, 2011:  Islamic radical violence against Christians in the last ten days has left over 80 dead, hundreds wounded and over a hundred suspects arrested. In the northeast, police have arrested nearly a hundred actual or suspected members of Boko Haran. In the process, eight people have died, including three policemen. Police believe they have the chief financier of Boko Haran, and several other members of the group's leadership.  Security forces tactics often backfire, as many army and police commanders allow their personnel to loot homes that are raided, and raid any home they want. The police and troops will often release suspects if a large enough bribe can be arranged. Troops and cops also tend to be pretty brutal, and at times trigger-happy.

In the Niger River delta, troops and police continue searching for members of the NDLF (Niger-Delta Liberation Force), which the government says is simply a front for criminal activities. The NDLF appears unable to resist the security forces, and does not appear to have a lot of popular support.

After three months of quiet, last month saw two pirate attacks on merchant ships off the coast. One attack, on a large container ship, failed. But the other assault, on a smaller cargo vessel, led to the robbing of the crew and theft of whatever portable goods (mostly electronics) the pirates could carry away in their small boat. For the last year, mariners have been warned to be on the lookout for pirates, and police have rounded up gangs that were kidnapping officers of cargo ships and holding them for ransom. So the kidnapping appears to have abated for the moment.  

December 31, 2010: Several bombs went off in a military compound in the capital city Abuja (central Nigeria, not far from Jos), leaving at least 30 dead. Most of the victims were wives and children of soldiers, gathered for a New Year's celebration.

December 28, 2010: In the last few days, community unrest in the Niger Delta left at least 18 dead and many more wounded. The fighting, between factions of the Ogoni tribe, began when an argument over football (soccer) escalated. Heavy handed police response made it worse.

December 24, 2010: In the northeast, about 30 armed members of Islamic radical groups Boko Haran attacked three Christian churches and killed six people. Boko Haran is trying to emulate the Taliban, and that means attacking non-Moslems as much as possible.  In the central Nigerian city of Jos, long the scene of violence between Moslems and Christians, another Islamic radical group claimed responsibility for several attacks that left over 30 dead.

 

 

 

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